20 December 2010
I'm still pondering on the brilliance of Susan Cooper's YA twist on King Arthur's story. Although, that's not really accurate on my part. It's not about Arthur, per se, but about the mythology, truth, and artifacts related to Britain's greatest king. (Yes, I believe he was real. And I believe that, barring intervention from Doctor Who and his TARDIS, we'll never know how much of the story that's been passed is fact and how much fiction. Except Lancelot. He's pure French fiction.) It's the consequences of Arthur's actions in his own time, and how they affect things and, more importantly, people in the present day of the books that are the action of the story. More than even that, it's about the greatest and last battle of the Light against the Dark. Great battles have been fought over the millennia, but this one is for all the marbles, as the saying goes. There are difficult choices facing the adults and even more facing the children who are our heroes throughout the sequence. Children and adults alike are fallible and human; even those who are more than human make mistakes and must face the consequences. I think this has to have had a profound influence on me as a kid that persists to this day: I don't believe in easy wins for fictional characters. If there is no sacrifice, it cheapens the gains. You know what I mean? I'm all for a happily ever after (HEA), but I don't want it to be too easy and I don't want it to be a guarantee. And, really, I don't have to have an HEA as long as the ending is the right one for the story. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, for example, is a book with hard choices and sacrifices, and while it doesn't exactly have a happy ending, it has the right ending. I love that book. I should reread it more often. It's not like it takes very long.
Do you prefer your books to have a guaranteed HEA, or are you content with the right ending, whether it's happy or not?
15 December 2010
I began with the first book, Over Sea, Under Stone, shortly before Winter Solstice so that when the Solstice arrived I could be on Book 2, The Dark is Rising, which takes place over about one week starting on Solstice Eve. And thus began my Year of Reading Youthfully. I was burnt out on "grown-up" books. They were too long, the print too small, too poorly written, too depressing, and basically just too damned tedious. YA, on the other hand, offered solace. They are generally quick reads (I did not reread the Harry Potter series this year.), with relatively large print, heavy but not too heavy subject matter, and always well-written (I chose well.) It helps that I'm in a book club specifically for YA literature. I don't feel I need an excuse to read kids' books, but some adults can be, shall we say, shy about their chosen reading material, and so the book club was an excuse for them to read YA books.
For those of you who haven't read The Dark is Rising Sequence... What is wrong with you!? Okay, okay. Just kidding. ... Sort of. It's a fantastical retelling of Arthurian legend that ranges across the English and Welsh countrysides. From the Holy Grail to Arthur's Seat, three ordinary kids and two quite extraordinary ones must battle the Dark, on the side of the Light, to do nothing less than save the world from eternal evil. ... Yes. These are kids' books, and they are brilliant. I first read them in elementary school, and have reread them several times over the years. They never lose anything in the retelling, and indeed, gain much as I get older and my life experience changes. These books taught me that there is always something worth fighting for, and you have to fight for it when you recognize it, even though, win or lose, that fight will come with a price.
TheLostLand.com - Official Susan Cooper Website that I discovered just this minute. (Hey, gimme a break! The first time I read any of her books, there was no internet, so why would I go looking for this until I wanted to share with you?)
I'll be posting more in the weeks to come about the other YA books I've read over the past year. Check back and see what I think about NZ kids' lit, YA GLBTQ, and old-fashioned modern-written fairy tales!
Got a favourite kids' or YA book you would recommend? Let me know!
30 November 2010
29 November 2010
All Romance eBooks is having a 50%-off sale TODAY ONLY! So if, you know, you wanted to buy some awesome m/m titles by a certain someone, or some kick-ass contemporary m/f titles by a certain someone else, you should totally go pick them up for HALF-PRICE TODAY!
25 November 2010
I've managed to do it again. For the fifth year in a row, I've won NaNoWriMo! Of course, as was the case in all the previous years, the book isn't actually done yet. If the previous two in this series are any indication, I have about another 30 - 35K before the end. But, hey, that's fine by me! I'll be taking today off and picking up again on Friday. We'll see how close I can get to finished by the 30th.
I hope everyone one in the U.S. is enjoying their Thanksgiving! And for those in other locales, you can be thankful that it's almost the weekend, right? ;-D
22 November 2010
On the positive side, I didn't have anywhere I had to go, plenty to do inside my house, and cozy kitties to keep me company. I'll be going out tonight for my friend's birthday, though. Fortunately she only lives a few miles away.
Also on the positive side, the weather gave me a great excuse to sit on my butt and pound out today's word count for NaNoWriMo. It's not even 5:00 and the laundry's done and I've written 2500 words on my NaNovel. And the show sure has been pretty to look at. And yet... IT'S NOVEMBER, NOT JANUARY!
Okay. I'm over it now. Or I will be. Eventually. When it melts.
ETA: I take it back. We're not going out tonight to celebrate my friend's b-day. The hill is, naturally, slicker than snot, and I won't ask the hubs to go driving on that. He could handle it. It's the idiots and the unlucky I fear.
11 November 2010
Compass Hearts is set in the same world as, well, everything published so far except False Dawn. Here's a little blurbage to, I hope, pique your interest.
As the fourth son of merchant parents, Matthew Morgan has always been superfluous. The only guidance he ever received was to behave himself and to stay out of the way. Now, at a new university half a world away from home, he must discover who he is and what he wants. The only trouble is, he's never made a decision in his life.
When Ash Thearon meets Matthew--the handsome fellow student he's been ogling all quarter--he finds him sweet, sexy, and more than a little puzzling. To solve that puzzle, he must first collect all the pieces--something more easily said than done.
The new friends quickly become lovers, but Matthew's limited life experience has taught him only how to follow another's lead. Ash wants more than that; he wants the give and take of an equal. As the lovers' holiday of Afan Valen approaches, Matthew's tendency to try too hard to please others leaves Ash wondering how to teach him independence without losing him.
So, does that make you curious? I certainly hope so! I'll update again when I have more news, and I will, of course, be having a party. I just have to get a release date before I can properly plan.
02 November 2010
29 October 2010
Someone should make a steampunk Borg!
At which point you (you guessed it) websearch it and find this picture.
And you proceed to think:
Well, it's pretty good. The arm looks smashing! But it could be better if he did more with the clothing part of the costume and added the right Borg-ish make-up.
. . .
I have a very scary brain sometimes.
28 October 2010
|Quiz! Which Hollywood Starlet Are You Best Suited To Dress-Up As This Halloween?|
|Lady Gaga Your style is daring, to say the least. It shocks those around you. This Halloween, try to let loose, leave your lonely studio for just one night, and have fun with friends.|
|Fun quizzes, surveys & blog quizzes by|
26 October 2010
Another autumn tradition I enjoy is roasting pumpkins. I'll do that next week. It makes the whole house smell pumpkiny good! I'm a freak for autumn foods, you see. Last night it was butternut squash enchiladas. Last week it was pasta with mushroom sauce. The week before was sweet potato and chick pea stew. Mmmm! The flavours of fall!
Let's not forget the tradition of watching Kenneth Branagh's Henry V on St. Crispin's Day. (That was yesterday, in case you didn't know. This year is the 595th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt.)
And last but far from least, there's the autumn--or more specifically November--tradition of NaNoWriMo. I'm participating again this year. This is year five for me. I've "won" every year, but this time I'm not so sure I'll make it. I'm even less prepared than usual, I'm afraid. We'll see. I am a competitive person, even when I'm just competing with myself, so perhaps I'll bring in another one. ::fingers crossed::
So, what about you? What autumnal traditions do you most enjoy?
23 October 2010
18 October 2010
Created by OatmealReally, though, I have three manuscripts...wait... ::thinking hard:: ...four manuscripts out with beta readers right now. And I'm making mental notes for NaNoWriMo, which fast approacheth.
And laundry. There is always laundry on Monday.
10 September 2010
Have a great weekend, everyone!
03 September 2010
31 August 2010
ETA: I believe that the contest link (below) won't be active/up-to-date until tomorrow. So if you click through and it doesn't look quite right, just give it until 1 September. Then...a-hunting we will go, a-hunting we will go, heigh-ho the derry-o a-hunting we will go!
Torquere Press Celebrates 7th Anniversary!
Seven years?! No, we can hardly believe it either. Seven years of bringing readers the best, the sexiest, the most romantic GLBT fiction. And to celebrate, we're giving away prizes -- great themed gift baskets, gift certificates for free books every day, and a scavenger hunt that will give readers a chance to collect a deck of cards that will win big - -a Nook from Barnes & Noble!
Readers will get the chance to "collect cards" by visiting each participating author's website, blog, or Facebook page. By collecting all the cards and filling in the form, players have the chance to win free books daily, a gift basket once each week, (including BDSM, werewolf and ménage themed baskets), and be entered in the grand prize drawing for the Nook.
We'll also be having random sales via our blog, GLBT Romance, Facebook, and Twitter:
With bestselling GLBT romance authors like Chris Owen, Tory Temple, Kiernan Kelly, P.D.Singer, Sean Michael, and B.A. Tortuga, you'll have a blast playing along. Just log onto Torquere Press website http://www.torquerepress.com/contest/index.html
Check out the contest page, and start hunting!
So, ya feel lucky, dude? Let's play!
27 August 2010
You are the World
Completion, Good Reward.
The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.
The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
If only it were all true. ::sigh::
17 August 2010
I had my iPod on shuffle the other day. You know shuffle. That setting that supposedly randomizes all the music on your iPod and plays whateverthehell randomness that the algorithms choose? Yeah, that. Well, this past weekend, my iPod "randomly" shuffled between Blue Öyster Cult's "Club Ninja" in order and a witchy-themed playlist I have, with the occasional smattering of tunes by my favorite Scottish rock band, Runrig. The conclusion reached by me and the friend riding in the car with me at the time? Either it was telling me to go back to my old m/m Star Trek fanfiction, or I need to write some short stories in the universe where my GLBT paranormal novels are set. On one hand, I love that fanfiction, but I have a very hard time convincing myself to write anything these days that couldn't potentially be published. On the other hand, considering that the aforementioned paranormal novels aren't yet contracted, let alone published, and that I only submitted the first one to a publisher a couple of weeks ago, this short story collection idea seems a little...what's the word? Ambitious? Optimistic? Nuts? Maybe all of the above and then some. And yet this is precisely what I did. I wrote the first short story (and I do mean short – only 4200 words, give or take) that was uppermost in my mind. I have solid ideas for two more, and thoughts of two more after that. All of which makes me wonder: Just how random is the iPod shuffle function? Was it just a wacky algorithm or was it tuned into something greater? The world may never know... [cue Twilight Zone theme...] ;-)
11 August 2010
It'll be 12 weeks (if I'm lucky) before I hear back on another manuscript I sent off this week.
I have two manuscripts out with beta readers. One due back by Labor Day. The others...who knows?
At least once rehearsals start for my next show, I'll have some distraction. In the meantime, I wait.
Cue Inigo Montoya.
28 July 2010
The winner of the coffee mug with the awesome book cover on it is from over on the TQ Social LJ:
The winner of the free download of False Dawn is from right here on the blog:
If you would each be so kind as to contact me at "maia at maiastrong dot com" (with all the necessary conversions to make that a real email address, of course) I can arrange prize delivery.
Foggynight, I will just need a mailing address for you. And, Erika, I need an email address and your preferred format for your ebook.
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who came out party it up at the space barbecue!
26 July 2010
It's the last day of my space barbecue and I've had great fun! I hope you have, too. To celebrate, I have the author extra I wrote especially for Release Day. Just because some lines got crossed and the book actually came out Saturday doesn't mean we can't keep the party going through today. Right? Right!
And along those lines, here's that Release Day Author Extra I mentioned. Hope you like it!
False Dawn by Maia Strong
Available from Torquere Press
EARLY NEWS HOUR THEME MUSIC RUNS AS TITLE TEXT AND GRAPHICS GIVE WAY TO:
SHOT OF MALE NEWS ANCHOR SEATED BEHIND DESK
IMAGE OF ENGINEER DAYAN ANDRUS, DRESSED IN STANDARD ENGINEERING COVERALLS, APPEARS IN UPPER RIGHT CORNER OF SCREEN
NEWS ANCHOR: Good morning. Here’s the early news. Our lead story, a senior engineer has vanished into thin air. Yoshiko Didier reports.
CUT TO FEMALE REPORTER STANDING IN CORRIDOR OUTSIDE DOOR MARKED “SECURE AREA -- AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY -- CLEARANCE REQUIRED FOR ACCESS”
DIDIER: Thank you, Steven. I’m standing outside Section 4 of Sector AP-10 on Aconcagua Deck. It’s beyond here that Senior Engineer Dayan Andrus supposedly disappeared over forty hours ago.
DIDIER CONT. [IRONIC TONE]: Of course, we can’t access the area directly without authorization due to the security precautions around the File Room, and that authorization has not been forthcoming. But is it just the sensitivity of what’s behind this door that’s keeping us out?
SCHEMATIC APPEARS ON-SCREEN
DIDIER: What you’re looking at here is the schematic for the section behind me. You’ll note the lack of doors and internal access hatches. There aren’t even ventilation ducts in the area of the alleged disappearance.
CAMERA RETURNS TO DIDIER LOOKING SKEPTICAL; SCHEMATIC SHRINKS TO UPPER LEFT CORNER OF SCREEN
DIDIER: Security claims to have no leads in the case. Judging by the obvious inaccessibility of the location, one might not be surprised. But can Lažna Zora’s vaunted security force really be so in the dark as that? Or could there be more here than meets the eye? I believe there’s more to this story than we’re being told. Could this disappearance be a case of experimentation gone wrong? Might Engineer Andrus have been the subject, knowing or unknowing, of new technology designed to transport a human being from one location to another instantaneously?
IMAGE OF SCHEMATIC IS REPLACED BY PICTURE OF DARK-HAIRED MAN IN ENGINEERING COVERALLS
DIDIER CONT.: I spoke earlier today with the Assistant Chief Engineer Alan Zamyatin who assured me, quite emphatically, that no one in Engineering was performing any experiments along these lines. He denounced such ideas as, and I quote, “ridiculous” and “absurd science-fiction”. Doth the gentleman protest too much? Chief Engineer Johnston was unavailable for comment.
IMAGE DISAPPEARS AND CAMERA RE-CENTERS ON REPORTER
DIDIER CONT.: Given such vehement denial of even the possibility of this new technology, one is forced to wonder what we aren’t being told. Whatever happened here, whatever Engineering’s involvement, or not, in the alleged disappearance, it seems highly unlikely that Security would be completely ignorant of that department’s activities--whether those activities are “secret” or not. Yet, if they aren’t ignorant? I, for one, don’t like to consider the alternatives. This is Yoshiko Didier reporting.
END REMOTE FEED
Remember, just comment to be entered to win one of two FABULOUS PRIZES! You have until midnight Pacific Time tonight to enter! I'll announce the winners in the next couple of days. :-D
25 July 2010
False Dawn by Maia Strong
Available from Torquere Press
"Hi!" Galen barely got the greeting out before Dayan was through the doorway and on him.
Dayan grasped him by his broad shoulders and pulled him into a searing kiss. Startled but willing, Galen opened his mouth to Dayan's searching tongue, and Dayan took full advantage. He swept his tongue along Galen's teeth and tickled the roof of Galen’s mouth, reveling in the taste and feeling, the warmth and the wetness.
When at last they came up for breath, both men were panting. Galen's brown eyes were nearly all pupil, and Dayan was more than ready to fall into them. He'd waited all damned day to show his lover just how proud he was of that promotion.
"Congratulations, Detective," he said, his voice a husky purr of desire.
"I take it you don't want to go out to celebrate." Galen's expression and tone were wry.
Dayan returned the look with a lascivious, one-sided grin. "What do you think?" He pressed his hard, aching cock against Galen's thigh, just below the hip joint, and rolled a little from one side to the other. Galen groaned and leaned in for another devouring kiss. Dayan happily obliged.
Again, they only parted when they had to stop for air. Gasping, Galen smiled broadly. Dayan loved that wide mouth, those straight, white teeth, and dove in for more before either of them properly caught their breath. His head felt light, but whether from lack of oxygen or overload of lust, he didn't know. Didn't care.
Dayan pushed against his lover until they were brought up short by the couch that stood against the outer bulkhead. Dayan released him again and gave him enough of a shove that Galen lost his balance and sat heavily. Without a pause, Dayan straddled him where he sat and began to undo the buttons on his new dress shirt--as much an indication of his new rank as the badge that glinted at Dayan from his belt.
The release of each button was followed by a kiss, a nip, a bite, of Galen's dark, smooth, muscled chest. When Dayan reached the waistband of Galen's tailored black trousers, he tugged the shirt tails up and out, found the last button, and, bent double over his lover's lap, placed a kiss over Galen's navel. He alternately circled it with the tip of his tongue, flicking at the little indentation, and sucked a mouthful of flesh around it. Galen squirmed and shook, just as Dayan knew he would.
Dayan sat up straight, one hand on the clasp of Galen's belt, the other fondling his lover's balls through the taut fabric of his slacks. The outline of his erection was hard pressed just to the left of the fly, but Dayan held off from grasping it. He's been anticipating this all day; he had to take a little revenge and make his lover wait a bit, too.
He leaned in and whispered in Galen's ear. "Is there anything you particularly want tonight?" A gentle squeeze on his sac that made Galen gasp and groan.
"Any…requests?" A tender nibble at the shell of his ear. "Or do you trust me…" Nip. "…to make you…" Nuzzle. "…scream?"
Galen's breath came in short gasps, and Dayan knew he had him. They'd played this game many times, and Galen had never once turned down that particular offer. He looked up into Dayan's gaze and grinned, equal parts defiance and fervor.
The review that's posted is rockin'! I'm now going to be happy dancing all through cycle class this morning. ::bounce, bounce::
I'll be back after class to party some more!
24 July 2010
Our hero, Galen, is a big fan of chili cheese dogs and fries, while his hubby is more into broiled salmon and rice pilaf. Me, I'm happy either way. ;-) I think at this bbq, Galen would toss a big T-bone on the grill and Dayan will probably go for some lovely fish cooked in a foil packet with lemon slices and dill. I'm just having a burger, with cheddar cheese of course!
Usually at a summer barbecue I like to bring the fabulous and simple orzo salad I got off of Space Food Network. It's just orzo, arugula, dried cherries, crumbled myzithra cheese, and a little olive oil and lemon juice, and S&P.
While I'm opening the beers, tell me, what do you like to bring to a potluck or barbecue? Do you have your "usual" or do you like to mix it up?
23 July 2010
False Dawn by Maia Strong
Available from Torquere Press 26 July 2010
Galen tossed and turned in his bed. Usually it felt too small for two people but tonight, lacking Dayan's warm, solid presence beside him, it was like an ocean of space. He should be used to the absence. They worked opposing shifts often enough that it wasn't uncommon for each to spend a sleep period alone. Several, in fact. On nights like that, he would fall asleep safe in the knowledge that his husband was out doing his job and would come home at the end of his shift.
But not tonight. Tonight he didn't know where Dayan was. He didn't know when or how they would find him. Didn't know if they could.
No. They had to. Losing Dayan forever wasn't an option.
Damn it! They must be missing a clue.
Well, duh. He rolled over, disgusted with himself. Of course they were missing a clue. If they weren't, they'd have solved the case by now and he wouldn't be complaining about how the stupid little bed was too big without his husband to share it.
The afternoon's investigations had left them no further along than the morning's. No one had seen anything. No one knew anything they hadn't already disclosed. No one could explain how a full grown adult male could disappear in a corridor that had no doors, no interior ports, and no access hatches. And the ship's chief engineer assured him and Flint quite soundly that there was no experimental new technology that could teleport anyone or make them invisible or shift them between dimensions or any other "science-fiction nonsense" like that.
"Fuck this!" Giving up sleep for a lost cause, Galen threw off the covers and sat up. "Lights to half."
Dull gray light filled the bedroom, enhancing rather than dispelling its cramped dimensions. There wasn't even satisfactory room to pace. He briefly considered taking a mild sedative; there were some in the bathroom's medicine cabinet. What time was it? He looked at the clock in the wall over the bed.
Blue numbers glowed softly. 02:54.
Okay, so the tranq option was out. He had to be up too soon. He should have taken something hours ago if he was going to go that route. Damn.
He wanted a drink.
Galen made a noise of disgust and shook his head. "Not an option," he said aloud to the empty room. He had to get a grip. Getting wasted--again--wasn't going to do him or Dayan any good.
He padded barefoot into the small living room, the light level adjusting automatically as he went from one room to the next. "Play live video. News feed." He sat heavily on the sofa as the wall holograph of the early a.m. news report was projected. The farm report, which covered all hydroponics and livestock updates, was on. He almost smiled. Who needed a tranquilizer when they had the farm report?
Unfortunately, it was just wrapping up. And the next news at the top of the hour was coverage of Dayan's disappearance. Galen watched with growing anger as the news reader's report got increasingly hyperbolic and sensationalist. Barely veiled suggestions that Engineering was tinkering with secret teleportation technology and an experiment that had gone bad. The woman went on to imply that Security was either complicit in the public deception or they were Engineering's unwitting victims. Either way, it made the force look bad. Incompetent at best, and, at worst, a bunch of conspiring liars.
"Video off!" ordered Galen more forcefully than necessary. The projection shimmered and vanished.
"This is bullshit." He needed to get back to work. Find the clue that eluded him. Find his husband.
Decision made, he rose from the sofa, grabbed a quick shower and shave, and dressed. His presence at the station at this hour would raise some eyebrows, but no one would challenge him. The security scuttlebutt network was almost as fast as the ship's computer core. By now it was a given that everyone in the department knew Galen's husband was missing.
He clipped the PG that Flint had requisitioned yesterday to his belt and headed out.
Remember, comment to be entered to win and tune in for more fun as the weekend progresses!
False Dawn is an m/m erotic romance detective story (Could I have more qualifiers on that genre, please? I don't think there are enough.) set in deep space (Ah! There we go. Thanks for that.) aboard the generational starship Lažna Zora. Police Detective Galen Traub and his partner must find a missing person, and that person just happens to be Galen's husband, Dayan. Dun-dun-dunnnnn!
To celebrate, I'll be partying the weekend away starting TODAY because all weekends should really start on Friday, don't you agree?
To get things going, I'll be posting an excerpt very shortly. Then, later in the weekend, we'll be grilling up the burgers over our specially designed plasma energy barbecue, toasting the marshmallows over the engine core, and swigging back the space beer!
And of course there will be prizes! Just comment on any of this weekend's party posts and you'll be entered to win either a fabulous coffee mug with the gorgeous cover of False Dawn emblazoned on the side, or a free download of the ebook itself! Wheee!
But wait! There's more! Ask me all your questions about this ridiculously subgenred novella and I'll answer them for you in a special Q&A post on Sunday! So hit me with your whos, whats, wheres, and hows; your whithers, whethers, whences; your wherefores and your big old side orders of whys, and I'll do my level best to come up with at least vaguely coherent answers. (And a bonus contest entry to the first person to recognize that list I just gave you. It's not 100% accurate, but it's close enough for those in the know to know. You know? ;-) )
Now, Party ON!
17 July 2010
Watch this space...
14 July 2010
For my blog posts, I got...
For the unpublished novella that I plugged in, I got...
And for everything else I plugged in (and remember I was procrastinating and wasting time, so I plugged in more than a few), I got...
I find this last hysterically funny since I have never read anything by Stephen King. Oh wait, I take that back. I've read a stage adaptation of his novel Misery. But that's it.
Okay. Enough amusement for now. Time to make some lunch and get back to work.
08 July 2010
See, there's this hateful bullshit of a thing here in the US called "The Defense of Marriage Act". It was basically spearheaded and put in place by bigoted, fearful, and hateful people and it banned (note the past tense because the happy is coming) gay marriage at the federal level, which is a big problem for the few states that have legal same-sex marriage. Well, today, at long freaking last, the "Federal gay marriage ban is ruled unconstitutional". We've had, and continue to have, problems with lawmakers allowing their personal prejudices, and the prejudices of people with a lot of money to spend to back their hate, to make law. What these people tend to forget is that we in the US have this nifty document. It's called THE CONSTITUTION and it says stuff about "all men [being] created equal" and the right to "the pursuit of happiness" and such. We also have this other nifty document called THE BILL OF RIGHTS. Have I read the whole thing? Either of them? Well, no. I admit that parts of it just get a bit dry for me. Point is, there are those who have and who focus specifically on Constitutional Law. I have great respect for these people, and I love it when one of them can prove, from that brilliant source material, that someone else's bigoted opinion is just that: opinion. Not something upon which a law can or should be based. Opinions, belief systems, and what have you, have no place in the legal process, and this judge just called bullshit. I now proceed to happy dance. ::happy dances::
There's another interesting posting about it here: Federal Court Holds DOMA Unconstitutional I don't know anything about the site, but that article makes for interesting reading.
Score one for the good guys!
ETA: I'm skimming the Constitution (I said it gets dry in parts) and just came across this:
Article IV, Section 2: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
I'm no law student, but I would guess this relates (in part) to the whole you're-married-in-state-A-therefore-your-marriage-is-legally-recognized-in-states-B-through-Z thing.
06 July 2010
So, the details on the party:
Dates: 23-26 July
Theme: Sci-fi Summer Barbecue! (I have no idea what that means, but we'll figure it out.)
Prizes: A fabulous False Dawn coffee mug (since my characters drink a lot of coffee when they can get it) and a free download of the book!
There will be an excerpt one of those days, and extra scene on release day. There might even be a character interview. We'll see if I can pin anyone down on that. They are very busy people, these characters.
Check back as the date approaches! Standard rules apply: post a comment to be entered to win. It's that simple!
See you soon!
01 July 2010
I spent much of yesterday (when I was much lighter on brain power) making things on Vistaprint. Can you say "blog party prize"? I knew you could! ;-)
28 June 2010
I'm thinking of throwing a blog party to celebrate the new release. I mean, we all like to celebrate, right? And every new release deserves a party! Since release day is 26 July, which is high summer here in the northern hemisphere, I'm thinking a barbecue is in order. So, with that in mind, check back for a long-weekend barbecue! There'll be burgers and grilled veggies. Maybe we'll even throw a pizza on the coals, who knows? And s'mores. There must be s'mores. And maybe a prize or two. ;-)
07 June 2010
11 May 2010
24 April 2010
KATE DAVIES HAS WON THE RT REVIEWERS' CHOICE BEST BOOK AWARD FOR SMALL PRESS ROMANCE FOR HER FABULOUS BOOK LESSONS LEARNED!!
Whee! Woo-hoo! Huzzah! Huge, HUGE congratulations, my dear, on your well-deserved win! And congratulations to the winners of all the other categories, too! You'll find them all on that RT link above. Go check it out, and then READ A WINNER!
29 March 2010
12 March 2010
I'm taking part in the Easter Egg Hunt being put on by the fabulous folks at The Long and Short of It. It's starting at the end of March and there will be fabulous prizes to be won! Check out their website for more information, and get ready to go hunting!
25 February 2010
Woo-hoo! Email me at maiastrong (at) maiastrong [dot] com and I'll get that sent out to you right away.
Thanks to everyone who came to party with me! I look forward to partying with you again this summer when my novella, False Dawn, is realeased!
24 February 2010
Okay, here it is. Another little taste to get you excited for the whole story!
Rhys awoke with a smile on his face. Perhaps he’d been dreaming of Isaac. Yawning, he reached out under the covers, knowing that his husband’s side of the bed would have long since gone cold. As early as Isaac rose, Rhys slept late. It was now well past dawn and the sheets were chilly to his touch.
He sat up and pushed back the covers, shivering at the change of temperature. Finding his soft-soled house shoes nearby, he slipped them over his bare feet and clambered over the bed to the edge of the sleeping loft, the soft cotton flannel of his loose pants tugging against the wool of the blankets. He climbed down the ladder to the main room of the little house.
Smile still on his face, whether from forgotten dreams or a sense of what the day would bring, he went into the kitchen. On the table was a note from Isaac. Every day, as regular and reliable as the bells in the cathedral tower, he left one there.
Rhys’s smile widened as he read the single scrawled sentence. Then he set the note back on the table, placed a clean mug for tea beside it, and went to heat water. He would wash, breakfast, and set to work—and spend the day in anticipation of the sweet promise in his husband’s love note.
Don't forget, you have until midnight PST tonight to comment on any blog party post to be entered to win a copy of I Put a Spell on You including Play Music, Play Magic. I'll announce the winner here tomorrow, so remember to swing by and see if you've won!
23 February 2010
Music can have a profound effect on one's mood, but it isn't always the effect one might expect. So my question to you is, what music puts you "in the mood"? You know the mood I mean. ;-)
And don't forget, your comments are your entries to win an ebook. And guess what? It's not just Play Music, Play Magic, but the whole I Put a Spell on You anthology!
22 February 2010
Isaac and Rhys are delighted when Noula Tuomi arrives in town. Noula and Isaac have been close friends and lovers for many years, and when Rhys became a part of Isaac's life, she embraced him and his relationship to her old friend without hesitation. Now, the three share company and comfort whenever she's in town. As with every visit, Isaac hopes that she'll decide stay. But Noula is a Wand'ring Minstrel. Some Minstrels do retire and some do settle down, but will Noula? And will it be this time? Each of the trio privately ponders this question, but even these heavy thoughts can't detract from their enjoyment of one another and the magic that Noula brings.
Here's a nibble to whet your appetite.
Putting such heavy thoughts aside, Rhys let himself relax into the music.
He didn't know the song she played, but it hardly mattered. Noula's music was… enchanting. The notes intertwined like a tapestry growing on the loom of a master weaver. Complex, subtle, haunting. Beautiful. He'd listened closely to every Wand'ring Minstrel he had ever come across -- here in Yanto, back in Western Zephren, and everywhere in between -- and no one he had heard could do what Noula could do. And with such a deceptively simple instrument as a recorder.
Simple. There was nothing simple about what was happening. Colors and light that had nothing to do with the candle lanterns began to swirl slowly around the edges of his vision. Rhys sighed and leaned into his husband, resting his head on Isaac's strong shoulder. Isaac reached an arm around him, kissed him on the top of his head. For that suspended moment, everything was perfect in Rhys' world.
Subtly, the tone of the music changed. Where before it had buoyed him on pillows of flannel stuffed with the softest down, now it grew sleeker and less cozy, and yet no less welcoming. He floated on the melody, rich as silk, spicy as cinnamon, and exotic as the island paradise Noula had spoken of earlier. The music flowed over his skin and into his blood, warming it from within. The heat grew and centered itself quite deliciously in his groin, and he grew hard.
Isaac's arm around him squeezed a little tighter, and Rhys opened eyes he hadn't realized had fallen shut. The colors he had seen in the room had continued behind his eyelids, and now, as he opened them, those swirls and eddies of rainbow light were there with him in the room again, too. He turned his head and looked deep into his husband's jet-black eyes, sparkling like obsidian with every flicker of light. He didn't have to look down or reach out a hand to know that Isaac felt what he felt. Craved what he craved.
Together, they turned and looked at Noula. She played on, but a knowing and eager twinkle was in her eyes.
Wordless and as one, the three of them rose from the table and headed for the ladder to the sleeping loft. Noula played the men up, bringing the tune to a suspended end as they reached the top. Pocketing her recorder, she climbed up after them, humming as she went.
If you liked that, you'll love what comes next! Too bad you have to wait until Wednesday to find out what that is. ;->
Remember, comment on this or any post during the blog party to be entered to win a free copy of Play Music, Play Magic!
20 February 2010
A BLOG PARTY FOR MY NEW RELEASE!
That's right. My short story, Play Music, Play Magic, is coming out in the anthology I Put a Spell on You from Torquere on 24 February. (Holy crap! That's WEDNESDAY! *eep!*) So check in Monday through Wednesday this week for an excerpt (just one - it's a short story, after all), perhaps a visit with the characters, and a bonus scene on release day. And, of course, there will be a CONTEST. Just leave a comment on any of the party posts and you'll be entered to win a free download of Play Music, Play Magic.
I'm looking foward to partying with you guys!
24 January 2010
15 January 2010
12 January 2010
11 January 2010
Oh! and the antho that was coming out this Wednesday? Yeah. Well... Rescheduled until 24 February. Ah well! More time to plan a party, right? :-D
03 January 2010
01 January 2010
I looked for a good New Year quiz for today, but failed utterly. So instead, here's a quiz that seems reasonably appropriate to the day--at least for me. And if you stayed up to ring in the new year, you might find it appropriate, too.
You Are an Espresso
At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic
At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung
You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping
Your caffeine addiction level: high